August 17, 2017

An Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart

Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding heart

Janine Pineo Photo | Dicentra spectabilis – Bleeding heart

Rumor has it that Dicentra spectabilis has had its name changed to Lamprocapnos spectabilis. Perhaps it seeks a new identity and an escape from its well-known role as bleeding heart. This graceful plant with its arching stems puts on a bittersweet show as its red-pink heart-shaped flowers form, looking like they have split open and are bleeding the white tip. The plant is a sturdy one, hardy to Zone 3, but dislikes wet soil in winter and dry in summer, preferring a more constant moisture for its roots. The rhizomatous plant also needs a bit of shade to thrive. A native of Asia, bleeding heart goes dormant by midsummer, only to reappear again the next spring and have its heart broken all over again.